"The Nuclear Option"
There is no argument amongst dermatologists--isotretinoin is the most effective acne medication. However, as with most things in life, you must take the good with the bad, and when it comes to isotretinoin, the bad side can be dramatic, lifelong, and sometimes utterly tragic.
The good side: After 4-5 months of taking the oral prescription medication isotretinoin, research shows that about 66% of people are clear of acne for the long term. It can clear even severe acne, and can prevent a lifetime of scarring in people who suffer with severe, widespread, and scarring acne.
The bad side: Unfortunately, the power of isotretinoin comes with a dark side that presents itself in the form of numerous side effects, from less severe problems like dry, cracked skin in almost everyone who takes it, to less common, but potentially permanent side effects like joint pain and vision changes. In fact, the U.S. military will not allow previous isotretinoin users to become fighter pilots. Most tragic and horrific is the birth defects it can cause if used by pregnant women. It is the #1 most birth defect-causing medication on the market. It cannot be stated more strongly: Never, ever use isotretinoin if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Only have a few minutes? Check out these articles first:
Latest in Isotretinoin (Accutane)
Isotretinoin, often known by its brand name, Accutane, is an oral medication approved for people with severe, scarring acne. It is the most effective medication...
March 17, 2021
Is Isotretinoin (Accutane) Overprescribed?
Isotretinoin, which many people know as the brand name Accutane®, is FDA approved for only severe cases of acne that do not respond to other treatments. However, it is overprescribed for less severe cases of acne. This is potentially dangerous since it comes with severe side effects.
November 25, 2020
What Is the Actual Relapse Rate of Accutane (isotretinoin)?
Many people think of isotretinoin as a permanent solution to acne, but 14.6 to 52% of people see their acne return after isotretinoin therapy ends....
November 24, 2020
What are the side effects of Accutane (isotretinoin)?
Isotretinoin (Accutane) is an oral medication for severe acne that does not respond to other treatments. The reason it is reserved for only severe cases is because it comes with a plethora of side effects, some of which can be severe and/or long term. It also causes severe birth defects.
October 12, 2020
The Top 12 Most Common Side Effects of Isotretinoin (Accutane)
(1) Dry Lips - 100%, (2) Dry Nose - 66%, (3) Dry Skin - 50%, (4) Dry Eyes - 40%, (5) Acne Worsening - 35%, (6) Joint/Back/Muscle Pain - 26-29%, (7) Chronic Fatigue - 25%, (8) Headaches - 10-12%, (9) Hair Loss - 9%, (10) Photosensitivity - 5-12%, (11) Vision Changes - 5-10%, (12) Chest Pain - 5%.
September 03, 2020
Does Taking Oral Isotretinoin Cause the Skin to Age Faster in the Long Term?
Isotretinoin (Accutane®) can cause the skin to become more dry in the long term. Therefore, many people wonder if it might make the skin age...
April 30, 2020